AAA expects Arizona holiday travel season to be among busiest in decades

Dec 13, 2022, 9:50 AM | Updated: 9:52 am

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)...

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)

(Flickr Photo/Arizona Department of Transportation)

PHOENIX — The upcoming holiday travel season is expected to be among the busiest in decades in Arizona, according to AAA.

The auto club is predicting over 2.1 million Arizonans will take trips between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2. That would be Arizona’s third-busiest holiday travel season since 2000 and an increase of 3.3% from 2021.

“The travel is going to be a little more spread out since it’s Christmas and New Year’s landing on a Sunday,” AAA Arizona spokesman Julian Parades told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

“Most people are going to be traveling on a weekday. The travel period is a little bit longer because of that.”

Nationwide, AAA is predicting the most holiday travelers since 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The auto club expects 101.8 million people to go by vehicle, up 2% from 2021, and 7.2 million by airplane, up 14% from last year.

Parades said Arizonans tend to make holiday trips within driving distance.

“People seem to be going to Southern California, so that’s an easy commute by car,” he said.

The busiest days on the road are expected to be the Friday before Christmas and Dec. 27-28, AAA said.

Drivers are advised to hit the road during off-peak hours, either before 2 p.m. or after 8 p.m. Otherwise, they could see travel times that are up to 25% longer than usual.

Parades also said motorists should check the forecast before their trip, because weather changes can slow down or halt traffic.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Heidi Hommel contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo)...

Associated Press

Pilot killed in small plane crash near Eloy Municipal Airport

A pilot has been killed in a small plane crash in a vacant lot near Eloy Municipal Airport, about halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, police said.

8 hours ago

Firebird Motorsports Park....

Chandler racing complex renamed Firebird Motorsports Park

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler has a new name -- Firebird Motorsports Park.

10 hours ago

Pamela Andrews...

Silver Alert canceled after 68-year-old woman located

The Mesa Police Department canceled a Silver Alert on Saturday after locating Pamela Andrew, the Arizona Department of Safety says.

10 hours ago

Silver Alert...

Silver Alert canceled after 81-year-old found dead

John Saler, an 81-year-old who went missing in Tonopah on Wednesday, was found deceased, authorities said Saturday.

12 hours ago

Southwest Human Development...

New Head Start early education center set to open in Phoenix

Southwest Human Development will host an open house for a new Head Start campus in Phoenix next week.

14 hours ago

caution tape...

Woman charged with murdering her husband in west Valley home

A woman is behind bars for allegedly murdering her husband in their west Valley home, according to police.

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

AAA expects Arizona holiday travel season to be among busiest in decades